Journal Article

Lack of Global Dosage Compensation in <i>Schistosoma mansoni</i>, a Female-Heterogametic Parasite

Beatriz Vicoso and Doris Bachtrog

in Genome Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 3, issue , pages 230-235
Published in print January 2011 |
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1759-6653 | DOI:

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Many species have morphologically and genetically differentiated sex chromosomes, such as the XY pair of mammals. Y chromosomes are often highly degenerated and carry few functional genes, so that XY males have only one copy of most X-linked genes (whereas females have two). As a result, chromosome-wide mechanisms of dosage compensation, such as the mammalian X-inactivation, often evolve to reestablish expression balance. A similar phenomenon is expected in female-heterogametic species, where ZW females should suffer from imbalances due to W-chromosome degeneration. However, no global dosage compensation mechanisms have been detected in the two independent ZW systems that have been studied systematically (birds and silkworm), leading to the suggestion that lack of global dosage compensation may be a general feature of female-heterogametic species. However, analyses of other independently evolved ZW systems are required to test if this is the case. In this study, we use published genomic and expression data to test for the presence of global dosage compensation in Schistosoma mansoni, a trematode parasite that causes schistosomiasis in humans. We find that Z-linked expression is reduced relative to autosomal expression in females but not males, consistent with incomplete or localized dosage compensation. This gives further support to the theory that female-heterogametic species may not require global mechanisms of dosage compensation.

Keywords: dosage compensation; sex chromosome; evolution

Journal Article.  3135 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Evolutionary Biology ; Genetics and Genomics

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